If you’ve ever done a long run on a Sunday, you know exactly what I’m talking about. The Runner’s Walk is that weird waddle you do on the way into work and every dreaded time you have to get up from your desk as you try to hide your spasming muscles.
Because, for as much as your coworkers know that you’re training for a marathon, you don’t want to make it obvious how much pain you are in. You want to seem invincible, like all of the marathoners look in the books and magazines. And, you definitely don’t want their pity. Because you know that you signed on for this, and you welcomed the pain with open arms when you started out.
But, there’s a point, normally on your third trip to the bathroom because you’re drinking so much water for your aching muscles, that you realize that you are not going to be able to hide it anymore. Slowly you contort back into the Hunchback of Notre Dame-like creature you were when you rolled out of bed – standing was NOT AN OPTION – dragging whichever leg seems to be in more pain at that moment.
Then, there’s the grimace you hide when you try to stand up from your desk after a stint of sitting that feels so good, but you know will be very painful when it ends. Or, when you have to rush to a meeting, and every muscle responds by locking up, causing you to half-run straight-legged down the hall, cursing under your breath as you will your joints to bend.
But there’s something about that post-long-run walk that makes it all worth it. Despite the pain, you still make it through the day. You still try to make it look like your legs are as normal as any other day. And when you finally get home and reach for your foam roller, you can smile that you survived. And soon after that, you forget how bad that pain was. And stupidly, you do it again, and again.